“Pursue every opportunity” is Rule Zero in any business. And in the food service supply industry, those opportunities are all around. As a company that sells equipment and ingredients to restaurants and caterers, you can expand your business in many simple and profitable ways. One valuable but often-overlooked avenue for expansion is uniform supply. By adding employee apparel to your selection of pots, pans, grills, stoves, and foodstuffs, you not only expand your sales, but make yourself indispensable to clients. In this way, you lay the foundation for your continued success over the long haul.

Why Food Suppliers Make the Best Uniform Marketers

As a food service supply business, you have a unique opportunity to sell uniforms and gear to your customers. Compared with other types of suppliers, you benefit from:

  • Established Knowledge– Having already supplied food and cooking equipment, you understand your clients’ specific safety, sanitation, and branding needs. This makes it easier for you to sell them the specific uniforms they need to improve their operations and attract more customers.
  • Trusting Relationships– Not only do you already understand your clients’ needs, but the longer you have sold them equipment and food, the more they will trust you. This gives them a strong incentive to pick you over other potential suppliers, as they can be confident that you will provide quality apparel at reasonable prices.
  • Bulk Buying– If your clients get all of their uniforms from the same source, they have the ability to order them all together. This makes it easier for you to offer them discounts, free shipping, and other types of benefits.
  • Consistent Records– Even if clients don’t order enough uniforms, food, and equipment to justify bulk discounts, they’ll still benefit from getting everything from the same source. If your company is selling them everything, you’ll have a record of all their supplies. This makes it easier for them to keep track of expenses, identify specific purchases, and reorder items that they want more of.

For all the benefits of expanding into uniforms, it only works if you make the ordering process convenient for your clients. The easiest way to do this is to set up an ecommerce website where they can purchase all of their items at once. Such a website should divide your products by category, with a specific page for aprons, pants, shirts, chef coats, and other uniforms and gear. Don’t forget to add options for customization, so that clients can tailor the gear to their specific needs and branding. For best results, allow clients to create accounts for themselves or even for individual employees; this simplifies the process of tracking orders, organizing bulk discounts, and recording customized looks.